Scientific Method for Ecological Research / Edition 1by E. David Ford
Pub. Date: 04/13/2000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Scientists tend to take the thought processes that drive their research for granted, often learning them indirectly by observing their supervisors and colleagues. This book emphasizes the advantages of being explicit about these thought processes and aims to help those undertaking ecological research to develop a critical attitude to approaching a scientific
Scientists tend to take the thought processes that drive their research for granted, often learning them indirectly by observing their supervisors and colleagues. This book emphasizes the advantages of being explicit about these thought processes and aims to help those undertaking ecological research to develop a critical attitude to approaching a scientific problem and constructing a procedure for assessment. The outcome is a text that provides a framework for understanding methodological issues and which assists with the effective definition and planning of ecological research. As such, it represents a unique resource for anyone embarking on their research career. It also provides a valuable source of information for those more experienced researchers who are seeking to strengthen the methodology underlying their studies or who have an interest in the analysis of research methods in ecology.
- Cambridge University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 7.44(w) x 9.69(h) x 1.18(d)
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Component processes of ecological research; Part I. Developing an Analytical Framework: 2. Five processes of research planning; 3. Conceptual and propositional analysis for defining research problems; 4. Development of a research plan; 5. How theories develop and how to use them; 6. The art of measurement and experiment; 7. Methods of reasoning in research; 8. Assessment of postulates; 9. Individual philosophies and their methods; Part II. Making a Synthesis for Scientific Inference: 10. Properties and domains of ecological concepts; 11. Strategies of scientific research in ecology; 12. Use of mathematical models for constructing explanations in ecology; Part III. Working in the Research Community: 14. Scientific research as a social process; 14. Values and standpoints and their influence on research; Part IV. Defining a Methodology for Ecological Research: 15. The methodology of progressive synthesis; 16. Criticisms and improvements for the scientific method in ecology; Appendix for instructors; Glossary; List of references; Author index; Subject index.
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This book is a detailed consideration of the conceptual approach to doing ecological research. The challenge to the researcher to identify the assumptions, postulates and data statements for the research project is the distinctive contribution of this text. It teases apart the idea of what a hypothesis is by separating the mental operations of the testing process. I use this text in a graduate course on experimental design in the environmental sciences. It challenges the reader with the level of detail and examples to illustrate the process.